Nice Spa Hotels

Apr 2 2020

The Spa Spy

4 min read

Bedford lodge 2

If you love a good spa and want a weekend away in a hotel that isn’t too swanky but has plenty of local charm and good customer care, we’ve got you covered.

Spas in hotels have transformed in the last five years. These days, hotels are prepared to invest in spectacular spas while keeping the charm of their hotel. There’s nothing nicer than a day’s sightseeing followed by an afternoon wallowing in a delightful hotel spa and indulging in a treatment before dinner.

Here are some nice spa hotels that will make you feel cosy and welcome.

St Brides, Pembrokeshire

Perched high on a clifftop overlooking a blue flag beach and pretty coastal town, St Brides Hotel is designed with beach style comfort in mind. After a day exploring the rolling coastline, relax in the infinity edged outdoor spa pool that hangs over the ocean. Massage your aching shoulders with swan jets and bliss out on bubble jet beds gazing at the endless sky. The spa lounge is a great space to soak in more views – the spa menu is excellent, too.

Bedford Lodge, Suffolk

This charming neo Georgian hotel is perfectly situated for a day at the races. The rooftop hot tub at the spa overlooks the stables. Head across the driveway to the modern spa, with its impressive thermal space and floor-to-ceiling windows letting in floods of light. The hydropool is vast, with plenty of bubble stations, the glass fronted thermal rooms set in one end. There’s a mezzanine relaxation room above where you can wait for your ESPA treatment.

Dormy House, Worcestershire

A charming country house hotel in the Cotswolds with a stunning modern Scandi-style spa attached. The spa lounge with its groovy seating, floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto a large patio, is the kind of place you could hang out in all day sipping soy lattes, smoothies and munching vegan burgers. The spa is extremely stylish, with its infinity edged pool overlooking the outdoor vitality pool. After a day exploring the countryside, bubble away in the candlelit warm waters letting the real wall-fire warm your soul.

The Garden Secret Spa, Derbyshire

Ringwood Hall is a rather stately 19th Century manor house, the perfect base from which to explore the Peak District or the hotel’s own beautiful gardens. The spa is tucked away the grounds – hence the secret – its centrepiece a tempting tear-drop vitality pool beneath a mirrored ceiling. Bask in the blossom steam room, herbal sauna and Himalayan salt sauna and enjoy the woodland views across the gardens. The outside is brought in at every turn, including a stunning indoor living wall and botanical treatments by Lola’s Apothecary.

Beaverbrook, Surrey

This Chateau-style country pile overlooks the Surrey Hills, its décor eccentric and louchely whimsical, with impressive art works hanging alongside classic floral furnishings. The Coach House Spa is equally unique, with its garden themed stained-glass art and colourful tiles, clean Scandi lines and modern spa facilities. At the centre is a 20-metre indoor pool with natural light pouring in through glass panels along one wall. There is also a 20-metre outdoor pool, children’s splash pool, and an English Bath House, a variation on the traditional hammam. Ingredients from the apothecary gardens are used in treatments and teas.

Lodore Falls, The Lake District

This boutique hotel has bags of charm and a lovely, quirky spa, all with breath-taking views of the lake and surrounding forest. Hikers will love exploring this less touristy – therefore more remote – part of The Lakes before soothing their aching limbs in the Falls Spa. Outside is a 16-metre steamy infinity edge vitality pool with spectacular views to Derwentwater and the Catbells mountain range. With its champagne bar and outstanding restaurant, enjoy pure luxury in a wild locale.

Weavers’ House Spa, Suffolk

If visiting the picturesque Medieval town of Lavenham, you must stay in The Swan, a large, beamy hotel with squidgy sofas and roaring log fires. Head out the back to a secret walled garden: this is Weavers’ House Spa, a nod to the town’s wool trade. Small but perfectly formed, there’s a warm sunken vitality pool in the centre of the pretty Italianate garden, a light-filled cosy spa lounge, plus heat facilities and cosy treatment rooms inside: a magical end to a day strolling around the Harry Potter-esque streets.

Whatley Manor, Cotswolds

Set in 12 acres of gardens, Whatley Manor is a beautifully restored, Wisteria-cad country pile with a two Michelin-starred restaurant and a private cinema. While away an afternoon in the light, modern Aquarias Spa with its spectacular indoor/outdoor hydropool. Massage every conceivable part of yourself in the sun-dappled indoor pool before swimming out and bubbling away amidst the pretty spa garden. The thermal journey is very civilised – rest in between each heated room with fresh iced fruit water on comfy chairs – and the Natura Bisse treatments are a must.

Stanley House Hotel and Spa, Lancashire

The striking contemporary design of this Grade II listed 17th Century manor house hotel, surrounded by 54 acres of Ribble Valley countryside, extends to its spa. Think warm, rich colours, exciting textures and artful lighting. Facilities include a hydrotherapy pool with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the countryside, a steam room, sauna, salt steam room and warm mosaic recliners. It’s a peaceful space with calming rural views, but also rather glamorous. Enjoy indulgent treatments from Natura Bisse and ila or have a Delilah makeover.

Ye Olde Bell, Nottingham

Ye Olde Bell is a restored 17th Century former coaching inn that once hosted Queen Victoria. Now it’s a quirky boutique hotel with a fabulous spa split over two levels. The thermal facilities have views over the spa garden, and include the mechanical stonebath and the steambath – creative variations on the sauna and steam room. There is also a 10-metre outdoor pool, a snowstorm experience shower and a Sabbia light therapy room, where you can catch some Vitamin D rays while lying on a pretend beach, complete with deckchairs and sand.


The Spa Spy

2nd April 2020

Spy Likes:

Intuitive masseurs, inspired or outlandish treatments and design, posh products and celeb spotting.

Spy Dislikes:

Anyone po-faced (guests and therapists) or stupid, boring design and treatments.

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